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since 09/08/2000


Pirates Of The Caribbean - The Curse Of The Black Pearl (DVD) 13/08/2003

Jack Swallow, Captain if you please

Pirates Of The Caribbean - The Curse Of The Black Pearl (DVD) Very seldom do I come out of a movie and think that I have to see that movie again, but here is one movie I will be seeing again and no mistake. Here we have a film that does not take itself to seriously but id played mainly for laughs, however the team manage to achieve this without compromising the need for a good story line or the quality of the script and acting. The chief players in the film are Captain Jack Swallow (Depp, who is quite literally fabulous) a pirate of some renown, William Turner (Bloom) a blacksmith, Elizabeth Swann (Knightly) daughter of the Governor of Port Royal and Captain Barbossa (Rush) ‘a man so evil hell itself spit him back out’. All play their parts well as the story twists and turns with numerous surprises along the way. I could easily spend several hundred words noting how good everyone on the movie was however special note does need to go to Gore Verbinski who directs superbly keeping the pace up and the audience guessing, he is also well assisted by Dariusz Wolski the director of Photography in providing some key moments such as the first shots of Captain Jack Sparrow arriving at Port Royal. ...

Terminator 3 - Rise Of The Machines (DVD) 02/08/2003

T3 - Judgement Day has moved

Terminator 3 - Rise Of The Machines (DVD) Terminator 3 is pretty much what you expect, near indestructable cyborgs sent back from the future to destroy/save one John Conner. This time round however there are other targets to be terminated. This is of course all in the name of effecting the future war between men and machines. The movie starts with Skynet sending back an advanced new terminator, the T-X, played by Kristanna Loken, Arnie of course plays the reprogrammed older model T101 sent back to do the protection work. The main characters to be protected are John Conor (Nick Stahl) and Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) who will form key roles in the human resistance, with John being the leader. Following on from T2: Judgement day, the movie looks at fate (can we change it or are some things inevitable) but unlike last movie the answer is perhaps but maybe not by much. On a less deep note you can expect the same sort of happenings from the first two movies with numerous set pieces between the major protagonists, car chases, explosions and running battles with law enforcement. This movie however has more humour than the previous two; my personal favourite was the star glasses. Also the plot is slightly (only slightly) more complicated with some deceit along the way. The expected lines are all there in some form or other including a ‘She’ll be Back’ and a ‘You are terminated’. The movie charts the last days before Judgement day (which has moved back from 1997 as a result of the events in the last movie) and ...

Men in Black 2 (2002) 19/07/2002

New scum, same planet

Men in Black 2 (2002) Lets start with the obligatory comparison to the first film. In short this movie is not as funny, but in comes close. In all other areas this film is pretty much up to par. I have to admit together that then opening sequence is no where near as fun as that of the first movie (the sequence with the fly). In this episode J (Will Smith) along with a rememorised K (Tommy Lee Jones) battle the new (or in fact old) bad girl on the block, Serleena, a many tenticled bad-ass disguised as a beautiful lingerie model (Lara Flynn Boyle). The action, as in the first movie, is fast paced throughout and a positive outcome is assured as the guys race to save the men in black, the human race, the earth and the light in whatever order takes your fancy. The hole in K’s memory is somewhat contrived to make life a little harder or the guys as they piece together the location of the light which takes the place of ‘the Galaxy’ from the first movie. The best part in the movie has to be that of light relief alien ‘Frank’ the pug; this rendition of ‘Walk out the door’ is superb. Finally I really enjoyed this movie and have no hesitation in recommending anyone to add to the $133.3 million in had apparently taken to the 16th July, I will certainly be watching it again. ...

Monsters, Inc. (DVD) 03/02/2002

Monsters, monsters everywhere

Monsters, Inc. (DVD) Monsters Inc. can be said to have only one fault and that is a minor one; in short it isn’t Toy Story. That said there is very little else wrong with it, the characters are great, the animation (as expected) is superb and the story line is very good, on its own terms of course. The story tells of the adventures and mis-adventures of a small group of Monsters who inhabit a world behind all closet doors and a little girl they ‘kidnap’ and name Boo. The Monsters Inc. of the title is in fact (or fiction) an energy company that supplies power to the Monster World which appears to have the same sort of problems regarding the availability of energy as we do (i.e. not enough). The company’s struggle to supply this energy by collecting the scream of kids they frighten is getting ever more difficult and dangerous. The metaphor for our current problem of trying to less more energy is solved in this world not by saving energy, although this is touched on and if you don’t blink you might spot it, but on getting a better source. Enough of the meaning of life mumbo jumbo and back to the film, the key characters are Sully (the big blue one), Mike (the little one eyed green one), Boo (the little girl) and a host of others to many to mention, from office nerd to rival workers. My favourite parts are those that feature the CPA (Child Protection Agency) the most efficient (usually) and overzealous security agency you will ever see. They are responsible for ensuring that no hint of ...

From Hell (DVD) 28/01/2002

Dull as Hell

From Hell (DVD) The film starts very promisingly with shots around the area White Chapel with a group of ‘unfortunate ladies’; we are later told that there are on whores in England only unfortunates, of whom one is Mary Kelly. This group is being threatened by the Nicols brothers, the local heavy mob, into paying over cash in return for their safety. OK so that’s the best part of the film over with now, so onto the next couple of hours of dull poorly plotted melodrama. * * * Spoilers * * * The plot centres on a plot to ‘deal’ with a group (that mentioned above) of ladies who have witnessed Prince Edward’s marriage to one of them, and disappear the legitimate child of that marriage and legal heir to the throne of England. Throw into to this the various bad guys the freemasons, special branch, the entire medical establishment not to mention the royal family’s physician and ex-surgeon alias the Ripper. Offering resistance to these are Inspector Abbeline (Depp) an opium addict and his sidekick (Coltrane who is excellent) and that pretty much sums up the good guys. * * * End Spoilers * * * Sir Charles Warren (Ian Richardson) , is the only really poorly acted character and is paper thin as the man looking for someone to blame (not a Gentleman of course), Depp and Coltrane are both excellent as the policemen on the case, Heather Graham puts in a respectable performance as Mary Kelly but these are all surpassed by Ian Holm. So why did I not enjoy this, a part from it ...

Training Day (DVD) 25/01/2002

So you didn't see that coming Doh

Training Day (DVD) Lets start with what’s best about the movie which is in fact the acting. Denzel Washington plays narcotics cop L.A.P.D. Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris to perfection, he clearly owns the screen whenever he is no it, which is pretty much every scene. Not far behind is Ethan Hawke as young rookie Jake Hoyt who has one day to prove himself to his arrogant and charismatic potential boss (Alonzo). The action skips along at a fairly brisk pace, with it becoming obvious straight off that Alonzo is not the sort of cop who plays by the rules. The premise of the story is how far can he get Jake off the straight and narrow and this is where the film fails, because Jake is so wide eyed and idealistic that even with the brain in neutral it is clear that he is always going to end up as the good guy. The movies set pieces are excellently put together and occur often enough to keep you wondering exactly what is going to happen next. The character interaction, most notably between Washington and Hawke is excellent and fills in most of the rest of the film. The scene with the three stooges (The Wise Men) about half way through is the only one that really did not work for me. It is worth noting that for anyone even remotely squeamish this movie is very, very violent and there is lots of blood displayed, a little too much for my personal taste in any case. The plot as I said above is weak and turns what could have been a very good film into a mediocre one. The makers clearly a aware ...

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 19/12/2001

Frodo, Gandalf, Strider and all that Jazz

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Lets start off with the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the three hours I spent watching this. It may not be entirely truthful to the book but it is not far off and much closer than I expected. The whole feel of the film matches my vision of what middle earth and its characters should be. There is a narrative at the start of the film describing and showing the origins of Sauron and the Ring. It also touches on how it passed to Bilbo Baggins. ****** Spoilers ****** A comparison with the book shows a number of changes but enough that is comfortable for those familiar with the story. After the initial narrative we cut to the preparation for Bilbo’s 111 birthday party and all is pretty familiar until Frodo gets the ring. Then we hit fast forward and stay there until the hobbits arrive in Bree. Much is skipped over or missed completely – no forest, no old man willow, no Tom Bombadil or barrow wrights. Bree is similar to the book but the Black Riders in person replace Bill Ferny. The trip to Wintertop is shortened but the battle with the riders is very well done and the world we see when the ring is on is nothing short of superb. After Frodo’s injury we have a bit of a change in characters. No Glorfindel on white steed but we are introduced to Arwen (Liv Tyler) in his place. She rides off with Frodo to the Ford and Rivendell and the following chase with the nine black riders is excellent. The stand off at the ford itself is seen as a result of Arwen’s actions ...

Egg Card 01/11/2001

Egg is a must have credit card

Egg Card I was that type of person in front of you in the queue who had to shuffle through about two dozen credit cards before deciding which one to use. That all changed when I got my egg card. I still have a few others for emergencies, like I lost my egg card, but they are never used. There are a number of reasons why this is the case. First and formost is the 1% cashback I recieve on all purchases. Secondly I can keep track of what has gone on it easily via the web site. Thirdly they have been more generous with the credit limit than the majority of other company's I had cards from. The only draw backs one might find are the cost of obtaining hard copy items when for example your computor died. This can prove quite expensive, the details are all in the small print. I also found them very quick and helpful when I lost my card and recieved my replacement in less than a week with no fuss or bother at all. I would not hesitate to recommend this card to anyone and whilst you are on the website some of the other services are pretty good to. New content 1/11/01 As I am sure most egg card users know, the cashback has been reduced from 1% to 0.5%. I think this is a bit of scandal seen as this was one of the major selling points for the card when it was first issued. I think all egg card users should look at the Halifax cashback credit card or American Express blue card because they both offer 1% cashback. Hopefully it will also show Egg not mess its customers about.

American Pie 2 (DVD) 12/10/2001

Take another Slice

American Pie 2 (DVD) Welcome to reprise land. If you have watched American Pie then this is quite simply another helping for those who haven’t had enough already (that would most definitely include me). The movie re-visits the whole gang Jim (Jason Biggs), Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), Stifler (Seann William Scott) and all the rest of the gang. The story is fairly basic and is placed at the main groups first summer break from collage, the characters having progressed (or not) from the original high school guys looking for a first lay to the suave, sophisticated (not) we see in this film. Jim hasn’t had a girl since the first film, Stifler claims to have had many, Oz is being faithful to Heather (Mena Suvari who sadly has only a few minutes of screen time) and Finch who is still dreaming of Stifler’s Mother (Jennifer Coolidge). The setting is a house (that they could not possibly afford) by the lake (which looks surprising like an ocean in most of the shots) right on the beach. The direction by J.B. Rogers (‘Say it isn’t so’ and assistant on ‘American Pie’) is fairly ordinary and the screen play (Adam Herz – American Pie) is basically the first movie adapted to fit a new setting (which is pretty similar to the old one). The laughs are pretty regular if not quite as big as during the first movie and the story (such as it is) meanders around quite nicely. The pace moves you around enough so that the scenes do not get boring. The acting is ...

The Score (DVD) 06/10/2001

Oh, could have been so much better

The Score (DVD) The score features the expected class performances from DeNiro and Norton and the equally expected ham form Brando. Set against the background of the titled ‘Score’ this film is about the relationship between Norton’s character a very competent but risk taking thief who is out for the big hit and a life of luxury. Compare this to DeNiro’s character (Nick) who never takes a risk, works away from home and makes life as safe as possible, treating this as a job to be done a little at a time. The score in this case is in Nick’s home town, is a high pay off but risky undertaking and requires a partner (Norton) who is the man on the inside. The centrepiece of the film is the tension around the two leads, which simpers throughout the film but doesn’t really boil over till right near the end. Unfortunately this is also resolved very swiftly, over a single phone call in fact, and the film then ends very abruptly leaving a feeling of ‘Oh, is that it’. Not that this is a bad film, I really quite enjoyed it, the acting was great (Brando aside) the story line was acceptably good, especially if you ignore Nick’s love interest as these scenes were painfully predictably and did not really add a lot to the proceedings. The detail gone into with the score itself was enough to make you think the guys knew what they were doing without boring you with detail. It was just it left me rather disappointed at the end with the thought that ...

The Fast And The Furious (DVD) 18/09/2001

High Octane er stuff.

The Fast And The Furious (DVD) So, you’re a cop undercover trying to get into the world of street racing. You have a $80,000 car to help so what’s the first thing you do. That’s right go up against the top street racer using the car as your stake. Then fall for his sister to complicate matters even further. This is fairly low brow stuff with a fairly limited plot line and lots of high-octane car racing action. If that sounds like your sort of thing and your happy to go to the movies with the brain firmly in neutral then go for it. If not forget it, we have after all seen this plot before. Point Break covers the same ground with surfers and surfing as the backdrop but does it better. To be honest there really if not much more to say about this movie nothing about it was really good but there again nothing sucked. It is what it is so just take it or leave it. The acting is OK, nothing special but nothing really bad either. The cars were magnificent and if you like fast cars and talk of nitrous oxide this will be right up your street. I don’t but I quite enjoyed the movie anyway as apparantly did the US of A where it took bucket loads of cash. So to sum up, fast cars, fast action and good looking chicks – if that sounds like heaven then you know where to find it.

Moulin Rouge (Special Edition) (DVD) 09/09/2001

Was that 1899 or 1999

Moulin Rouge (Special Edition) (DVD) This, I think is the movie I have liked most all year. The exact reason I find hard to put into words, it simply seems to me to have that certain extra something that makes a movie work. The plot, such as it is, revolves around the eternel triangle and the question of love over money. McGregor as pennyless poet Christian falls for Kidman (Satine the courtesan) who is promised by Broadbent (Zidler proprietor of the Moulin Rouge) to Richard Roxburgh (Duke of Worcester). Will love conker all or will money win out in the end. The story really is fairly incidental to the movie for this is an example of style and over-the-top spectacle rather than gripping storyline, for that this certainly is not. Throughout the whole movie the sequences link together the true stars which are the songs. My personal fav was 'Your Song' but that may have more than a hint of personnal bias as I am a bit of an Elton fan. The version of Roxanne is also top notch and very different. The acting although not exactly top notch (excluding Kidman who was fab) was more than up to the task with the notable exception of Roxburgh who was cardboard personified. Broadbent also deserves a special mention haming it up as totally over the top Zidler, a real laugh a minute, his rendition of 'Like a Virgin' almost had the audiance rolling in the isles (not literally I might add), Madonna however would be turning in her grave (if she was dead that is) Seeing a lot of movies and working in cinema ...

Rush Hour (DVD) 18/08/2001

Rush or Slush

Rush Hour (DVD) Rush Hour 2 Join Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker for a second rush as they trade places for the start of the second movie. This time round Tucker finds himself as the fish out of water as he visits Hong Kong for a holiday but gets dragged into Chan’s investigation of the bombing of the American Embassy by the Triads. In summary the plot is paper thin (as expected) but what is disappointing is the lack of laughs. The entire character interaction that made the first film such a hit just does not hang together here. There are a few laughs but this movie will not have you rolling around in the isles as the first one did. The best laughs are reserved for the f**k-up real showed during the final credits and some of these looked somewhat contrived. It looks to me that the budget was spent on the two stars and not enough on what they actually did or said. Warning Spoilers (skip to line) The plot starts with our duo chasing Ricky Tan (Triad boss) as the lead suspect in the bombing (for no particular reason as far as I could tell), who later turns out to be Lee (Chan) fathers partner (Triad boss who used to be a cop!) who doubled crossed and killed him (small world). This sub plot mixes uneasily with the tracking down of a counter fitting operation master minded by the Triads and ‘ Rich American White Guy’ The pair follow said ‘rich white guy’ to Vegas where they are run across more federal agents and the Triad gang from Hong Kong who are ...

Planet Of The Apes (DVD) 17/08/2001

Rule the Planet

Planet Of The Apes (DVD) Planet of the Apes 2001 On going to see ‘Planet of the Apes’ a few days ago I resolved to try not to compare it to the ‘Charlton Heston’ version. Alas this lasted until the second scene; the similarity of the main story to the original makes seeing it in isolation is difficult at best. So is the movie as good as I had hoped. Well in truth no. That is not to say this is bad or even a poor movie, it is simply not as good as I had hoped. The special effects are far better as would be expected, the story line is similar but there are some significant changes including the ending which, rather than rounding off the story with a superb twist, poses so many questions as the result of the last scene that another movie seems inevitable. I hate this type of blatant commercialism especially when it comes from someone who usually knows better (Tim Burton – Director). Spoilers follow (skip to stars) The story starts with pilot Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) leaving his research vessel in a small space craft to rescue a chimp that has got lost whilst investigating a space anomaly. The craft gets blown of course and through time and crashes on a strange planet ruled by apes. So far so familiar. The chief apes are General Thade (Tim Roth) leader of the ape army, this loyal friend and trusted warrior Attar (Michael Clarke Duncan) and sympathetic chimpanzee Ari (Helena Bonham Carter). As humans can talk in this version a lot of the early part of ...

High Heels And Low Lifes (DVD) 26/07/2001

Mel Smith hits the mark

High Heels And Low Lifes (DVD) The latest Mel Brooks product to hit the big screen is something of a gem, all be it a little rough round the edges and not to be taken to seriously. Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack start as nurse and actress respectively. Minnie's boyfriend spends his time listening to his scanner and recording voices for his 'verbal masterpiece'. After getting very drunk the two girls pick up the phone conversation between a group robbing a safty deposite box and try to extort money from the robbers. What can only be decsribed as a farce slips the girls further and further into trouble with the hoods whilst keeping a step ahead of the inept pair of cops who never quite manage to keep up. This is never going to be a hugh hit but I found it very enjoyable and the sort of movie that is better made here than in the states. It is also very funny in parts although it is unlikely that fits of laughter will occur at any point. It is also unlikely that it will be available to see at many cinemas for much longer so if you fancy alook best make it soon or be prepared to wait for the video. ...
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